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The Big Sleep Reviews

Page 3 of 81
August 27, 2013
The plot is a little too complicated to understand, but the movie is still cool and atmospheric. Deserves credit for providing source material to "The Big Lebowski."
August 18, 2013
One of my favourites, starring an unforgettable Bacall and Bogart in one of his best performances.
April 15, 2013
The plot and characters of The Big Lebowski basically (if creatively) follow the 1939 Raymond Chandler detective novel and 1945 Howard Hawks film noir The Big Sleep. The equivalent characters are: private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart)/unwilling investigator Jeffrey "the Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges); General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), the wealthy wheelchair-bound man who summons Marlowe / Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston), the wealthy wheelchair-bound man who summons the dude; Vivian Rutledge (Lauren Bacall), the wealthy man's unconventional older daughter who becomes romantically involved with Marlowe/Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore), the the wealthy man's unconventional daughter who becomes romantically involved with the dude; Carmen Sternwood (Martha Vickers), the wealthy man's younger daughter who comes on to Marlowe and is involved with pornography/Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid), the wealthy man's younger wife who comes on to the dude and is involved with pornography ; Arthur Geiger (Theodore von Eltz), a pornographer who has filmed Carmen Sternwood in compromising positions /Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara), a pornographer who has filmed Bunny Lebowski in compromising positions.
January 28, 2012
Fast-paced film noir, in which every women is pretty and seems to fall for Bogart in 3 seconds. Definitely good, but also slightly confusing at times.
The Movie King
August 2, 2013
"So your a private detective. I thought private detectives only came from books."

Humphrey Bogart is named by the American Film Institute as the greatest actor of all-time. He's starred in many films worthy of that title, such as Key Largo, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca. The Big Sleep, however, isn't to worthy.

Bogart plays a private detective named Philip Marlowe who is called by a General (Charles Waldron) to track down a blackmailer who is trying to run down the General's daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers). When the accused blackmailer, Arthur Geiger (Theodore von Eitz), is murdered, Marlow has to think fast in order to solve this case.

The Big Sleep also stars Lauren Bacall as the General's older sister Vivian, who's more suspicious than she looks and John Ridgely as Eddie Mars, a gambling man who might be part of the murder plot.

Don't get me wrong. Humphrey Bogart is one of my all-time favorite actors. In The Big Sleep, he's just as great as ever. His toughness and powerhouse voice dominates the screen and shows how rare great talent can be today. Lauren Bacall, on the other hand, is attractive and stunning in her role. Put the two together and fireworks explode. The best scenes in The Big Sleep are definitely the ones between Bogart and Bacall due to the memorable dialogue and excellent chemistry.

Max Steiner provides the score for The Big Sleep, and like his score in Key Largo, it manages to provide loads of chills and suspense, but, it's far from his best score. That title still remains Gone with the Wind.

The black-and-white cinematography is simply stunning. If you want to make a good film-noir, it has to be in black-and-white, and because of that, many shots in The Big Sleep are jaw-dropping, creepy, and downright thrilling.

But, why do I give it a low score? Well, the biggest problem with The Big Sleep is the story. It's too confusing. When Bogart keeps talking about people like Carmen, Brody, and Agnus, it left me clueless. I didn't know old films can be that complicated. The film was based on a book, and even the author, Raymond Chandler, was confused by the plot as well. Buddy, you wrote the book, you have to know at least something. Also, the film was known for having a long and troubled production schedule, and there were many reshoots made in order to add tension between Bogart and Bacall. Many of the scenes already filmed, such as a scene where a cop explains the plot, was cut. If that scene was kept in, I might have given it a higher score.

The Big Sleep was directed by Howard Hawks, who's known for making wonderful classics, such as Bringing Up Baby, Rio Bravo, and Sergeant York. The Big Sleep, on the other hand, is a mixed bag, with a confusing plot and some explanation scenes cut. But on the other hand, the film has excellent chemistry between Bogart and Bacall and features excellent cinematography. If you can get past the confusing story, then you might get more out of The Big Sleep than I did. But as for me, I was a bit disappointed.
July 29, 2013
finally saw this classic film noir, has more action than the maltese falcon, but both have good plots, bogart is just as good as always, and bacall is equally his match, all the supporting players are solid too, good b&w cinematography, a must see for noir fans, or just fans of classic cinema
July 28, 2013
Humphrey Bogart's greatest movie where you'll find his best lines.
July 27, 2013
Gotta say I have very little idea of what happened in this film, but damn, I was entertained!
August 15, 2012
Not as good as the book, but an effective and mysterious film noir classic with stellar performances by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Thad F.
July 12, 2013
Terribly confusing plot, an unsatisfying ending, and rushed dialogue with innuendos that need serious explaining. It's hard to see why this is considered such a classic.
July 6, 2013
This movie was not what I expected. Just when I thought I knew what was happening there was an unexpected surprise.
June 28, 2013
awesome movie but i'm hard pressed 2 tell u what the plot is about.

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2011
it's supposed to be a classic, and, while I did enjoy this film noir caper, I must's pretty overrated.

Based on a novel by Raymond Chandler, this is about cynical private investigator Philip Marlowe and his involvement in a blackmail case that turns murderous. The film is noted for being really complex and confusing, and that's one of my main issues with it. I'm not a stupid person, but if the three screenwriters who adapted this had to contact Chandler and ask him to tell them what was going on, and even he didn't really know (or so he said), then you've got some problems here.

I've watched, and enjoyed, some very complex and convoluted films before, but here it just didn't stick. I think maybe too it has something to do with how hyped this film was. Yeah, it's a strong mystery, and sure, maybe I did enjoy the fact that it's really more about the procedural aspects of a criminal investigation than the results, but even then it feels unsatisfying. Maybe that has to do with my other major complaint, which is censorship.

I know that you can still have a great work of art without having to details all the graphic aspects, but when the more sordid stuff is integral to the film, then maybe yeah, they need to be shown. Obviously that wasn't gonna happen in the 40s, but maybe they could have tried to really be groundbreaking, even if it meant courting more controversy than they would have wanted to deal with. Look at stuff like A Clockwork Orange as a prime example.

Sorry for ranting, I just couldn't help it. Anyways, yeah, this is a fun, though challenging mystery thriller. I think what makes it work in the end are the performances, and the chemistry the cast have with one another, especially where Bogart and Bacall are concerned. Those tow are terrific, and its said that Bogart's turn are Marlowe is the definitive one. Works for me. Martha Vickers is also really good, and, even though she makes just a brief appearance, I loved Dorothy Malone as the book seller that Marlowe has a moment with while hiding out in her shop. It's a great scene (and one where I'm okay with the subtlety).

Despite how much of a complicated mess this is, the film does have some great lines, and a dry and sardonic sense of humor. It's really stylish, and from a formal perspective, is very impressive. The look is great, it's well shot, and the score by Max Steiner is a real treat.

It has its flaws, and I'm prepared to have my cinema buff card revoked for saying anything bad about this film, but I stand by my judgment. I did like it, and do recommend it, but think that it's not as grand as I was lead to believe.
August 28, 2012
I doubted I'd like it as much as the book.

I liked it better, by a lot.

Super Reviewer

May 12, 2013
Phillip Marlowe gets embroiled in a family's drama, which quickly turns murderous.
Everything about this film is perfect. The mystery is compelling and engaging because the characters are always ahead of the audience, which is refreshing in this age when everything but flashing arrows tell modern audiences when the detective encounters a clue. The writing is sharp and funny with lines so good and so right for Bogie that it's impossible to imagine anyone else saying them. For example:

Eddie Mars: Is that any of your business?
Philip Marlowe: I could make it my business.
Eddie Mars: I could make your business mine.
Philip Marlowe: Oh, you wouldn't like it. The pay's too small.

And there's Bogie and Bacall -- film legends with legendary chemistry -- who sizzle the screen. It's only their talent that makes a rather tepid love story work.
I don't see anything profound or socially necessary about The Big Sleep, but films like this can be intellectually engaging and fun.
Overall, The Big Sleep is a foundational film and a great time at the movies.
September 27, 2012
If you're a fan of witty banter and noir films with more plot twists than [some metaphor for a lot of plot twists], than this is your movie!
April 28, 2013
my favorite movie directed by Howard Hawks
April 27, 2013
Robert Mitchum tried this one too late.
Robyn M.
April 20, 2013
THE BIG SLEEP is one of the more entertaining private eye movies I have seen.

This classic of American cinema, actually made during the war and released in 1946, got a whole nation of young men affecting Bogey mannerisms, raising their eyebrows or showing their teeth while grimacing, and especially pulling on their earlobes while deep in thought, a smoking cigarette dangling between their lips. It was the genius of Howard Hawks, who directed, to do everything possible to make Humphrey Bogart a matinée idol, including having Lauren Bacall slump down in the car seat so as not to tower over him.
Four Star Film Fan
February 3, 2013
This noir, crime-drama starring Bogey and Bacall with director Howard Hawks, follows private eye Phillip Marlowe (Bogart) in Los Angeles. His difficult and ever changing case has him interrogating every one under the sun and following every lead. In typical Bogart fashion, Marlowe is a tough guy who does not shy away from danger and he has the eye of many a woman. What starts off as a normal case quickly turns deadly, setting the plot off. The constant twists and new characters complicate Marlowe's case and get him in numerous messes. However, thanks to his grit and wit he comes out on top, falling for the girl, and overcoming his adversary. One word that sums up this film is incomprehensible. Despite the confusion with the plot, this film is very enjoyable and seems to work itself out.
Page 3 of 81
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